Les Miserables School Edition
Paul Johnson | 19 Apr 2014 16:42pm
Les Miserables is a fabulous swansong for Meighan Youth Theatre Productions
9:51am Thursday 9th May 2013 in Theatre By Julia Taylor
JUDGING by Meighan Youth Theatre Productions Les Miserables, its 18-year-old producer, director and musical director, Joe Meighan, is all set to become the next Cameron Mackintosh.
His new show boasts a professional orchestra accompanying songs such as One Day More and Do You Hear the People Sing?
The £17,000 production ensures scenery and costumes are second to none and the battle scene uses realistic sound, lighting and special effects.
Even the programme has a professional touch and includes a piece about MYT’s famous President – Shane Richie.
It’s hard to believe that the huge cast are only aged 12 to 19 – and three of them younger than that.
Rhys Nuttall (18) gives the performance of his life as lead Jean Valjean. A future opera star, perhaps?
Adam Boardman (also 18) plays his police inspector pursuer, Javert, with insight. He conveys a man with unbending views about right and wrong. You can see the sweat on his brow when he movingly sings Javert’s Soliloquy.
A woman, Fantine, forced into prostitution to keep her illegitimate child, Cosette, is injured by a rough customer. Valjean sends her to hospital and, when she dies, finds and looks after Cosette.
Lovely 17-year-old.Georgina Brame plays Fantine movingly. Her I Dreamed a Dream is unforgettable.
18-year-old Rebecca Gilliland is equally good as the adult Cosette.
Ellie Hulme, who is only eight, takes centre stage when, as little Cosette, she performs Castle on a Cloud beautifully.
Even this, the school edition, is upsetting, so the light relief provided by panto-style villains, John Wood (18) and Anna Carley (also 18) as the Thenardiers who mistreat little Cosette, is refreshing.
Two younger performers are impressive. They are Dillon Burgess as Marius and Harriet Waters as Eponine, both 14. Dillon’s Empty Chairs at Empty Tables and Harriet’s On my Own are touching.
Joe Meighan has dreamed the dream for four years and, in that time, has produced nine shows. This, his 10th, is Meighan Youth Productions’ swan song.
He’s off to London for a three year BA Hons Professional Acting course at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
I believe we will see his name again – in lights in the West End!
* Les Miserables is at Altrincham Garrick until May 11 including a Saturday matinee. Tickets are available from 0161 928 1677. Star rating: * * * * *
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- : 08/05/2013